Grand Marnier


Grand Marnier. This is one of the more well-known liqueurs on the market today. I’m on a train traveling across Italy right now trying to discover all the local spirits and liqueurs/amaro and this is still one bottle I continually see at so many of the bars/cafes here.


Grand Marnier is a French orange liqueur that has been around since 1880, even having been served on the Titanic. It’s made using high quality cognac from France blended with the flavor extracts from Caribbean bitter orange peels. These oranges are too bitter to eat on their own, but their peels contain extremely flavorful and rich oils that add unparalleled flavor.


Historically, Grand Marnier was mostly drank as an after-dinner dessert sipper, and also became popularly used in desserts in Europe. In North America, Grand Marnier particularly took off in the 90s when the company made a major marketing push for its use in premium margaritas. Today, I feel like it’s really an under-appreciated liqueur in the craft cocktail and premium liqueur world, perhaps due to its “mainstream” popularity…but honestly, every time I take a sip, I am always incredibly impressed at its deep, rich flavor complexity. Although it works well in cocktails, I don’t think cocktails (especially the more mainstream ones it’s often found in) do this magnificent spirit the justice it deserves, and IMO is better appreciated on its own.


What do you think of Grand Marnier? How do you enjoy it?